Combined propulsion device and fishing shelter
Kind Code:

A fishing shelter combined with a propulsion device including an engine driven track drive supported on a frame. In one embodiment the frame is pivoted to be articulated with respect to a base-hull either at the front or rear thereof to enable towing or pushing transport of the fishing shelter. Steering is achieved by a steering member attached to the frame and inclined are the base-hull to enable a person seated in the base-hull to steer the propulsion device. In another embodiment, the base-hull is carried on the frame and pivoted skis are used to steer the propulsion device.

Hill, Andrew (Detroit, MI, US)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
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Primary Class:
International Classes:
B60P3/34; B62D49/06; B62D53/00; B62D55/06; B62M27/02; B63H16/02; E04H15/00; E04H15/02; (IPC1-7): B63H16/02
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20090280702System of easily interchangeable handles for oarsNovember, 2009Remus et al.
20050287881Combined propulsion device and fishing shelterDecember, 2005Hill
20070173139Fishing assemblyJuly, 2007Gierke
20070155256Outboard Motor for a BoatJuly, 2007Boebel

Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John R. Benefiel (West Bloomfield, MI, US)
1. In combination, a propulsion device for powered transport of a fishing shelter including a base-hull said propulsion device including a frame supported on one or more re-circulating drive tracks, an engine mounted on said frame and driving said one or more re-circulating drive tracks, said base-hull held by said frame to be adjacent said engine, a steering member mounted to said propulsion device and projecting over said base-hull to be graspable by a user seated on a seat mounted in aid base-hull, said propulsion devices so as to enable steering thereof by a user.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said base-hull defines an enclosed space and is shaped with a sloping front end to enable minimal resistance to sliding over ice and snow, and wherein said frame and base-hull are connected by a pivotal joint establishing an articulated relationship between said base-hull and said propulsion device.

3. The combination according to claim 2 wherein in said steering member is attached to said frame to enable turning thereof to enable steering.

4. The combination according to claim 1 further including a pivoted seat on said base-hull allowing a user to face forwardly or to one side of said base-hull.

5. The combination according to claim 1 wherein a seat is mounted in said base-hull to be slidable in a fore and aft direction to be positioned closer or further away from said steering member.

6. The combination according to claim 3 wherein said base-hull is pivotally connected to said frame to the rear to be towed thereby.

7. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said base-hull is pivotally connected to said frame to be forward of said propulsion device to be pushed thereby, said steering member comprising a tiller extending forwardly over a rear part of said base-hull.

8. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said steering member is U-shaped having spaced apart legs each attached at free end to the rear part of said frame, at cross member connecting other ends thereof said steering member extending rearwardly over said base-hull to be graspable by a user in said base-hull.

9. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said propulsion device frame defines a platform extending rearwardly from said engine, said base-hull resting on said platform.

10. The combination according to claim 9 and wherein a pair of skis are mounted to an underside of said frame to support a front part of said propulsion device, said skis each pivotably supported on said frame and said steering member connected to both of said skis to cause turning thereof by rotating said steering member.

11. The combination according to claim 1 where a pair of side by side spaced apart recirculating tracks are mounted beneath said frame.

12. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said fishing shelter has a plurality of collapsible bows mounted to said base-hull having a flexible covering attached to said bows and a protective enclosure.



This application claims the benefit of provisional application 60/580,075 filed on Jun. 15, 2004.


This invention concerns transport of ice shanties. It is common for ice shanties to be towed out across the surface of frozen lakes to sites where fishing through ice is to take place using a snowmobile or ATV, as considerable distances can be involved on larger lakes. A convenient form of ice shanty involves a molded plastic base shaped as a small hull with an attached tent frame opened for shelter while fishing seated on the seat in the hull.

The hull may be hauled using a snowmobile or ATV as the towing vehicle, or may simply be manually pulled by the user using a pull rope. Snowmobiles and ATV's are quite costly and bulky to trailer.

Manual transport is slow and laborious especially disadvantageous when any great distances are involved. It is the object of the present invention to provide low cost, compact equipment for powered transport of an ice shanty across a snow or ice surface.


The above recited object as well as other objects which will be appreciated upon a reading of the following specification and claims are achieved by a simplified tracked propulsion device combined with a fishing shelter base the propulsion comprised of a frame mounted track drive and an engine mounted on the frame drivingly connected to the track drive as with a transmission belt to power the same.

In one embodiment, a pair of skis are mounted below a forward end of the frame, and the frame is large enough to accommodate an ice shanty base-hull placed thereon. The skis are pivotably moved by a handle bar type steering member to allow steering of the device.

In another embodiment, the base-hull is mounted to a tracked propulsion device by a pivotal connection allowing articulation between the propulsion device and base-hull by rotation of a connected steering member connected to the propulsion device to achieve a steering compatibility.

In one version of this embodiment the hull trails the propulsion device and is steered by a U-shaped steering member connected to the propulsion device frame and projecting back over the base-hull.

In another version, the base-hull is disposed ahead of the propulsion device and a tiller type steering member is used to pivot the propulsion device and steer the same.

In both embodiments, the user is seated in the base-hull when underway and holds the steering member projecting from the propulsion device and over the base-hull when seated therein in both versions of the second embodiment.


FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a first embodiment of a fishing shelter propulsion device combination.

FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of the embodiment of the fishing shelter propulsion device combination shown in FIG. 1 with a fishing shelter base-hull in position thereon at an ice fishing site and a shelter frame unfolded, the fabric covering indicated in phantom lines.

FIG. 3 is a pictorial view of a second embodiment of a propulsion device-fishing shelter combination according to the invention showing a fishing shelter hull pivotally mounted to the rear of the propulsion device.

FIG. 4 is a pictorial view of another version of the second embodiment of the propulsion device-fishing shelter according to the invention.


In the following detailed description, certain specific terminology will be employed for the sake of clarity and a particular embodiment described in accordance with the requirements of 35 USC 112, but it is to be understood that the same is not intended to be limiting and should not be so construed inasmuch as the invention is capable of taking many forms and variations within the scope of the appended claims.

Referring to the drawings, and particularly FIGS. 1 and 2, a first embodiment of the propulsion device 10 is shown. This includes a frame 12 supporting a small gasoline engine 14 mounted at the forward end of the frame 12. Outrigger bars 16 included in the frame 12 pivotably support a ski 18 at each end thereof, preferably by a quick release connection for easy removal of the skis 18 for transport and storage.

An upwardly and rearwardly extending steering member 20 is mounted to the frame 12, preferably able to be telescoped to be collapsible as seen in FIG. 2 to be out of the user's way and allowing erection of the shelter enclosure.

The steering member 20 is drivingly connected to both of a pair of arms 22 and pivot pins 23 via tie rods 24 pivotably connected with quick release connection to a swing plate 26 coupled to the steering member 20. This enables swinging of the skis 18 to provide a steering capability.

The engine 14 drives a belt 28 (could also be a chain) circulated around first sheave 30 fixed to a cross shaft 32. A smaller diameter sheave 34 is also fixed to the cross shaft around which a second belt 36 is circulated to achieve a reduction drive to a sheave 38 mounted on a track drive shaft 40 rotatable on a track mounting structure 12A affixed to the frame 12.

A pair of re-circulating drive tracks 42 are driven thereby around idler sprockets 44 at the rear of the frame 12 supported on hangers 46. The tracks 42 are conventional commercially available components which each have a series of spaced cleats 45 affixed along a flexible belt to effectively obtain traction on ice and snow. A single larger track could also be used instead.

The frame provides a support platform to the rear of the engine 14 and steering member 20 on which a fishing shelter base hull 50 can be placed as seen in FIG. 2. Such shelter base-hulls 50 typically molded from a suitable durable plastic, are commercially available, and typically include a pivotally mounted array of U-shaped bows 52 having a fabric cover 54 attached thereto which forms an enclosure covering when swung out as shown in FIG. 2.

The shelter base-hull 50 is provided with a pivoting seat 54 mounted to be slidably adjustable side-to-side on a mounting bar 56 which bar 56 can be shifted forward when driving on guide bars 57 to position the seat 54 forward.

The user is seated on the seat 54 when transporting the shelter base-hull 50 out to a fishing site. The bows and covering are collapsed and stowed in the base-hull 50 at that time.

After arrival and flipping up and over of the bows 52-1-4 and stretching out the fabric cover 54, the user can be seated within the enclosure facing one side of the base-hull 50 to conveniently enable fishing through a hole in the ice on one side as shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 3 shows a second embodiment of the invention in which the fishing shelter base-hull 50 is not loaded onto a frame, but is towed behind a shorter version of the propulsion device 10A, while a user is seated in the base-hull 50.

The propulsion device 10A includes a shorter frame 12A including an upper platform 58 supporting a small gasoline engine 14A driving a belt 28A which drives a sheave 30A fixed on a track drive shaft 40A. The drive shaft 40A drives two track sprockets 60 affixed thereto which causes respective spaced apart tracks 42A to be re-circulated about idler sprockets 44A as in the above described embodiment.

The base-hull 50 is pivotably attached to the frame 12A by a pair of rods 62 each attached to one front corner of the base-hull 50 and converging to a quick release pivot connection 64 on the platform 58 at their other ends.

A U-shaped steering frame member 66 comprised of spaced apart tubes 68 connected at one end to each rear corner of the frame upper platform 58 and connected together at their upper end by a common cross tube 70.

Engine controls 72 such as a throttle may be mounted to the cross tube 70 for convenience. A user can operate the device 10A while seated in the seat 54 mounted to the cross bar 56.

A user seated in the base-hull 50 can pivot the propulsion device 10A using the steering frame 66 to thereby achieve steering. The pivot connection 64 allows articulation between the base-hull 50 and the propulsion device 10A.

FIG. 4 shows another version of the second embodiment shown in FIG. 3 with a single track 80. In this version, the propulsion device 10B is pivotably attached to the rear of the base-hull 50 by two rods 62A converging to a pivot connection 64D on the frame platform 58A. A forked tiller 74 has a single graspable handle portion 76 projecting forward over the base-hull so to be easily reached by a user seated on the pivotable seat 54. Thus steering can be achieved when the propulsion device 10B is located to the rear in a pushing mode.